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Qantas brings forward international flights to 14 November

written by Hannah Dowling | October 1, 2021
Qantas 787 Dreamliner in-flight (Qantas)

Qantas has officially announced it will bring forward its planned restart date for international flights to 14 November, following the federal government’s announcement that Australia’s international borders will open next month.

Qantas said on Friday that this date may be altered in the future, once the government confirms an exact date for the reopening of international borders.

“Flights will be brought forward if [this date] is earlier than 14 November or moved to later in the month, if necessary,” Qantas said.

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As it stands, the Flying Kangaroo confirmed it will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London, as well as three weekly return flights between Sydney and Los Angeles, both on its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners from 14 November.

The airline said those are the two routes that have been the most searched on its website in recent weeks.

The airline will add more flights to meet increased demand, if needed.

Customers booked on these first flights will have the flexibility to make “fee-free” date changes for travel until 31 December 2022, though a fare difference may apply. If flights are cancelled, customers may also be eligible for a refund or credit voucher.

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Furthermore, as the airline previously suggested, all passengers on Qantas international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated with a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine, as well as return a negative COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours prior to departure.

“The early reopening of Australia’s international borders will mean so much to so many people and it’s made possible by the amazing ramp-up of the vaccine rollout,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said.

“We know Australians can’t wait to travel overseas and be reunited with their loved ones, and literally thousands are waiting to come back home, so this faster restart is fantastic news. It also means we can get more of our people back to work, sooner.”

“We welcome the federal government’s decision and the work by the New South Wales government to facilitate the home quarantine approach that makes this feasible. We look forward to other states and territories getting on board.”

Joyce said the airline had already sold out of some of its international flights, slated for mid-December, and has seen “strong demand” for flights to London and LA, specifically.

“We’re confident there will be a lot of interest in these earlier services,” he said.

“We know many frequent flyers have been stockpiling their points over the past 18 months to use on an overseas flight, so we’re making more seats available to be booked with points alone,” he added.

Joyce noted that “ongoing demand for international flights” is going to “hinge largely” on how the government chooses to navigate quarantine requirements moving forward.

“The shift to seven-day home quarantine for fully vaccinated Australians with a negative test is a great step towards reducing this closer to what is becoming standard in many countries overseas, which is a test and release program,” he said.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Friday that fully vaccinated citizens and residents will be able to leave the country freely and return without hotel quarantine in November.

The new requirements, which will kick in once states hit 80 per cent double-dose inoculation, will see those arriving back in the country being asked to quarantine at home for seven days.

The government will also announce a number of quarantine-free travel bubbles in the coming weeks, which will see the country able to welcome tourists for the first time in 18 months.

“It’s time to give Australians their lives back,” said Prime Minister Morrison. “Let’s get vaccinated and get on with it.”

The long-awaited vaccine passport for international travel is also set to be rolled out “in the coming weeks”.

Qantas bullishly predicted back in August that Australia’s international borders would open by December due to its strong vaccine rollout, and later confirmed that it would restart flights from 18 December.

In mid-September, Qantas confirmed the first flights from Australia to London, LA, Vancouver and Singapore will depart on 18 December, with flights to Tokyo, Fiji and Honolulu being reinstated in the two days following.

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7 Comments

  • Nivsy

    says:

    Having a laugh though. Just did some dummy bookings from December to March and they want between 11000 and 16000 to fly business return. Good luck if you can afford that!

  • Dave

    says:

    This is very good news, but l would like to see some flights in and out of Thailand. Also l am concerned that th ee maintenance on the planes will be cut and oil seals will have hardened during the long grounding. Lastly, l expect higher fares and gouging as airlines try to boost their bank balances, Qantas being very good at that.

    • Vannus

      says:

      An airline will only fly to a Country that is a profitable route for it.
      No use going one-way full, & return with an empty aircraft. That’s just plain stupid thinking.

      Where’d you get the idea that aircraft maintenance would be cut? Jets’ cost an airline millions of $ each. They’re an investment, so they’re NOT going to let them ‘rot’ in storage, far from it.
      QANTAS has its’ LAMES’s at both VCV & LAX maintaining their aircraft, ever since they’ve been stored there.

      Lastly, QANTAS is a business. It needs to make money to survive. Funny how people will whine about ‘gouging’ of its’ airfares, but will think nothing of spending 10’s of 1000’s $ on a new car!

      Perspectives need to be thought.

      • Len Mccahon

        says:

        Well said.
        Asia esp China is way too risky.

        Imagine trying to control the swarms entering with god knows what virus up their sleeve to in flict upon ‘not so liked’ Australians

        Keep our door shut.

  • All Colville

    says:

    When is Hong Kong flights scheduled to be opened 🤔…thanks

    • Steve

      says:

      Hong Kong has fallen to the CCP.
      Hong Kong is no longer the open, free and safe destination it once was.
      As Australia and other free Western democracies are more or less in an undeclared state of war with China, travel to Hong Kong can now be seen as unsafe as travelling to mainland china is now unsafe, due to the risk of arbitrary arrest and abuse by CCP authorities for political advantage.
      Macau will soon fall and thus be rendered unsafe for Australian and other Westerners to visit.
      I will miss travelling to Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China.
      Many good times had, and good friends and memories made in those places.
      So, why not consider a trip to Taiwan?
      Its still a free, safe, civilised and democratic destination.
      I’m booking for November, now we can go there again.

      • Lindsay

        says:

        Yes, Steve, I too, had multiple trips to HKG when it was still a BCC.

        It was THE most fab place to go to in the ‘70’s & ‘80’s. Much shopping was done, & soaking up the atmosphere on Kowloon side, & the Main, on which the funicular rail trip was a highlight.

        Authentic meals partaken at Lunch, cocktails at the top of the high rise hotels, & who could forget a Morning Tea at the Peninsula?

        Even flying into Kai-Tak airport was a thrill, especially coming in through the buildings approach!

        Those were the days, & I’m SO pleased to have done it, as like you, haven’t been there since 1997, & won’t be ever again.

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